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ON THEIR MARKS: The starting line for the third edition of the philanthropic Cash & Rocket Tour is set in Saint Mark’s Square, Venice. There, on June 5, 70 women from the fashion, art, film, music and finance sectors will steer 35 red luxury vintage cars to London via Geneva and Paris, reaching the final destination on June 8.
Numerous big-name sponsors are on the roster, including Valentino, Net-a-Porter.com, McArthur Glen, Maserati and Aston Martin. The Cash & Rocket Tour continues to support three African charities focused on education and childcare: Shine On Sierra Leone, OrphanAid Africa and Sumbandila. In 2013, the charity drive raised $300,000.
Valentino co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, who piloted one of the tour’s cars last year, will do so for the second time. “As a woman and mother I am happy to be able to help other women and children. I’m profoundly convinced that it’s essential to offer them education and growth opportunities, and for me to give back what I’ve received,” she said.
The Italian fashion house will also support the charity initiative in other ways. It is offering a special, red haute couture gown for auction at the closing gala in London on June 8, and directing 20 percent of sales proceeds from its Rouge Absolue Signature capsule collection, and from six ad-hoc creations by Chiuri and co-designer Pierpaolo Piccioli, to the fundraiser. These products will be on sale in Valentino’s Paris and London monobrand boutiques, on the company’s Web site and Net-a-Porter.com.